New Church Dedicated in Shaanxi after 25 Drifting Years
By Josiah Li, July 22, 2017 02:07 AM
Shuguang Church of Baoji, Shaanxi, finally moved into the church's own building after 25 drifting years. A dedication service was held on Wednesday followed by celebrations to be held until this Sunday.
Elder Yi Lianmei, head of the church, shared the church development and church construction in the service, including its booming development, searching for places for gatherings, seven-year prayer, and tithes and offerings from the congregation.
The church started with a house gathering formed by five young people and developed into a youth fellowship of dozens of members. Later it had a membership of 1000. Not having a regular venue for gathering, the congregation gathered in some local churches. In September 2006, it rented a warehouse as the regular religious premise which was approved as legal religious activity site at the end of that year.
In 2009 a vision of constructing a church was conceived when the church had a deposit of less than 30,000 yuan and tried hard to get a land from the local authority. Before the new church construction was kicked off, the rented place for gathering was informed to be demolished in May 2012. "At the key moment of running out options, the congregation fasted and prayed earnestly with tears. Thank the Lord that he made a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." It just took 15 days to build a color steel building at the expense of 160,000 yuan on a bridge across a river. The new holy temple was called "Ark" where they gathered for five years.
The new church construction was officially started on November 16, 2014, and was topped out on May 30, 2015. The new church was put into use on December 3, 2016. Elder Yi also share touching stories behind the construction: an entrepreneur gave a donation of dozens of thousand yuan; a female urban sanitation worker offered 11100 yuan that was intended to prepare for his son's wedding; a brother paid for all the lights and switches, what was more, instruments like piano and drum kit and facilities including computers and air conditioners were also donated. It received tithes and offerings that totaled more than 8.5 million yuan, yet owned a debt of 4 million yuan.
During the ongoing five-year celebrations, believers have contributed various kinds of food: 1500 kilos of rice, two pigs, 2700 bottles of water, oil, watermelons, baked buns, liangpi (cold skin noodles), as well as vegetables.
Modeled in the same size of Noah's Ark, Shuguang Church can hold 1200 people with a construction area of 2300 square meters or 0.568 acre. The five-story building includes a main hall, a side hall, dormitories, Sunday school, training rooms, a kitchen and a canteen.
Translated by Karen Luo
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